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Full text of "History of the Confederate powder works"

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HISTORY 



OF THE/ 



CONFEDERATE 





HISTORY 



OF THE 



Confederate Powder Works 



COL. (GENERAL) GEO. W. RAINS, 



LATE OF THE CONFEDERATE ARMY. 



M ADDRESS DELIVERED BY INVITATION BEFORE THE CONFEDERATE 
SURVIVORS ASSOCIATION, AT ITS FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING, 
ON MEMORIAL DAY, APRIL 26TH, 1882. 



THE NEWBURGH DAILY NEWS PRINT, 
NEWBURGH, N. Y . 



ADDRESS. 



Fellow Confederate Survivors : 

In accepting your invitation to address you on the general history 
of the Confederate Powder Works, I do so with some hesitation, on 
account of my close personal connection with a subject which ab 
sorbed my thought, time and energies. 

In the history of a war we find, generally, but little reference 
to the manufactories engaged in the preparation of material ; they 
had been previously established, and were in active operation before 
its commencement, their products being immediately available for 
active operations. An instance can scarcely be found in modern 
warfare where previous preparations had not been made, and where 
the necessary manufacturing work s did not already exist. 

The late war was entered upon unexpectedly. Throughout the 
Southern country it was supposed that the North would not serious 
ly oppose a secession of the States from the Federal compact, hence 
no previous provision had been made for such contingency, and no 
material of war gathered. 

Manufactories existed on a very limited scale, and none for war 
purposes, hence their speedy erection was of extreme importance, 
and had to be accomplished under the most unfavorable conditions. 

The entire supply of gunpowder in the Confederacy at the be 
ginning of the conflict, was scarcely sufficient for one month of ac 
tive operations, and not a pound was being made througout its lim 
its. To enter upon a great war without a supply of this essential 
material, and without effective means of procuring it from abroad, 
or of manufacturing it at home, was appalling. 

Xo one was so well aware of this condition of things as the Presi 
dent of the Confederate States, who, being an educated soldier, was 
fully alive to the requirements of war, and at once took active 
measures for the creation of war material. Among these, was the 
erection of a great gunpowder manufactory. 

It is the custom of the different nations, in addition to the private 
factories of gunpowder, to have erected at different points national 



M167952 



works to supply the demand for war. The very limited resources 
of the Confederacy not admitting of division, had to be accumulated 
at one point. Mr. Davis was necessarily acquainted with most of the 
officers of the old army, as he was graduated at West Point, served 
with great distinction in the war with Mexico, and had been Secre 
tary of War under the Federal Government; he was thus enabled 
to select his agents for the different services required. Thus that 
very competent officer, General Gorgas, was placed at the head of 
the Ordinance Department; I had the honor of being appointed to 
take charge of the manufactory of gunpowder, a carte blanche being 
given. The necessary works were to be erected as nearly central as 
practical; to be permanent structures, and of sufficient magnitude 
to supply the armies in the field and the artillery of the forts and 
defences. 

On the loth July, 1861, I left Richmond to enter upon this duty. 
Making a rapid tour through the South to find a suitable site, 
Augusta was selected, for several reasons : for its central position ; 
for its canal transportation and water-power; for its railroad facili 
ties; and for its security from attack since the loss of the works 
would have been followed by disastrous consequences. 

.The small amount, comparatively, of gunpowder captured with 
the Navy Yard at Norfolk, with that on hand from other sources, 
had been distributed to the army gathering on the Potomac, to Rich 
mond, Yorktown, Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans, and other places ; 
scarcely any being left for the force assembling under the com 
mand of General Albert Sidney Johnson, in Kentucky. The Feder 
al forces, having the requisite advantages for equipment and trans 
portation, were assembling in large bodies, and the utmost energy 
was required to prevent the loss of a battle by failure in ammuni 
tion. General Johnson s command was the most urgent in its wants, 
hence required the first attention. 

The State of Tennessee, through the energy of Governor Har 
ris, and its Military Committee consisting of General Harding and 
Colonel Bailey, had at the earliest moment taken measures to supply 
his army by making contracts for saltpetre, to be supplied from the 
limestone caves, and with the Sycamore Powder Mill, not far from 
Nashville, which was to be enlarged and put into immediate opera 
tion. These contracts were turned over to the Confederate Govern 
ment on my arrival in that city, and every assistance possible given 



by the State authorities. Mr. S. D. Morgan, a private citizen of 
Nashville, but a gentleman of great energy and influence, rendered 
essential service to the officers of the Confederacy. The Sycamore 
Stamping Mill was soon put into operation, but its limited arrange 
ments, particularly for preparing the saltpetre, caused the product 
to be small. Notwithstanding the rapid construction of new stamp 
ers, and other parts, it was only in the latter part of September that 
five hundred pounds of powder daily were produced. 

It was soon perceived that to increase the supply, a special refinery 
for saltpetre would have to be erected ; works accordingly were pro 
jected, commenced, and mainly completed, at Nashville, by the 
9th October, on which day 1,500 Ibs. were refined, and this amount 
was gradually increased to 3,000 Ibs. daily. Experts were not to be 
found, and for some days every part of the operations were carried 
on under my personal instruction. 

Gunpowder contains three-fourths of its weight of saltpetre, and 
to have its proper and enduring strength, this constituent must be 
refined to almost chemical purity. Thus the obtaining of this ma 
terial and its preparation, became matters of the highest considera 
tion. 

The Governor of Georgia, at the suggestion of Lieutenant Boggs, 
late of the Ordinance Department of the old army, had purchased a 
small cargo of saltpetre and sulphur in Philadelphia, which fortu 
nately arrived safely at Savannah just before that port was blockad 
ed. This store of material, although comparatively small, was of ex 
traordinary value, as from it mainly the gunpowder for General A. 
S. Johnson s army was supplied, as well as the Batteries at Fort Pil 
low, Island Number 10, and Memphis, on the Mississippi river. 

The earth of the limestone caves of Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, 
Arkansas, and other States, was rich in nitrate of lime, and this 
salt was convertible into saltpetre by lixiviation and saturating with 
the lye of wood ashes. Some of these caves were personally visited, 
and great efforts made to have them worked to full capacity. Agents 
were sent out to investigate their capabilities with authority to make 
contracts, and supply the necessary information for their working; 
the last was accomplished by means of a pamphlet which I published 
in Nashville giving detailed instructions, and which was distributed 
throughout the country; it was republished in Richmond, New 
Orleans and other places. As rapidly as the crude saltpetre was re- 



ceived from the caves it was refined and sent to the powder mills, 
and the products mostly sent to General A. S. Johnson s command. 
About 100,000 pounds of gunpowder were thus supplied before the 
fall of Nashville, besides a considerable amount sent to New Orleans 
and other places. 

The caves of Arkansas \vere rich in nitrous earth, and those of 
Texas still more so, and these supplied the armies west of the Mis 
sissippi river with material for gunpowder. As early as practicable 
I sent out instructed powder-makers to both those States, who under 
the directions of the military authorities, assisted to put up the neces 
sary powder mills for the Trans-Mississippi department, which after 
the fall of Nashville was left necessarily to its own resources. 

In the early part of November my time had become so much oc 
cupied that it was no longer practicable to attend to the production 
of saltpetre, and Mr. F. H. Smith was sent from Richmond by the 
Chief of Ordinance to relive me from its duties. At a later day a 
separate department was established, called the Nitre and Mining 
Bureau, which then had the entire charge of its production. 

In the latter part of November, by the desire of General Lovell 
the able officer in command at New Orleans I proceeded to that 
city and examined the temporary arrangements for making gun 
powder, and also conferrecUwith him relative to procuring a supply 
of saltpetre from abroad. He suggested the chartering of the steam 
ship Tennessee, then lying idle in the river near the city, to proceed 
at once to Liverpool and take in a cargo of saltpetre and return to 
New Orleans, or, in case of necessity, to put in at Charleston or Wil 
mington. The suggestion met my views, and was approved by Mr. 
Benjamin, then Secretary of War, but was not carried out on ac 
count of the effective blockade of the mouth of the Mississippi. 

The Confederate Government, however, by its agents in Europe, 
purchased saltpetre which was shipped on swift blockade runners 
which arrived from time to time at Charleston and Wilmington. 
This proved to be adequate to our wants, and about two millions, 
seven hundred thousand pounds were thus received during the war 
and sent to the Confederate Powder Works. The amount obtained 
from the caves amounted to about three hundred thousand pounds 
for the same period. Thus the total amount received at the works 
amounted to about 1,500 tons. 

The Governor and Military Committee of Tennessee, in making 



the contracts for war material, had engaged Mr. Whiteman, of 
Nashville, an energetic citizen, to construct a Powder Mill at Man 
chester, who at my suggestion adopted the incorporating process of 
heavy rollers on an iron circular bed, such as I had 
proposed to employ at the Confederate Powder Works erected 
at Augusta. The construction of this mill was urged on so success 
fully, that by the middle of October one set of rollers was in opera 
tion, and a second set in course of erection ; a month later, by supply- 
ing saltpetre and charcoal from the refinery at Nashville, 1,500 
pounds of gunpowder were daily produced. 

I had proposed at an early period to make this Powder Mill a 
school of instruction for a few selected men, so as to have them ready 
for service at the Augusta Powder Works when they should com 
mence operations similaly to what had been done at the Refinery 
at Nashville, where men were being taught to refine saltpetre and 
distill charcoal. Before the occupation of Nashville by the Federal 
forces, these men, together with the machinery and articles of the 
Refinery in that city, were removed to the Augusta Works ; thus 
they were supplied at the commencement with the necessary means 
of operation, which could not have been otherwise accomplished. 
But one man Wright could be found in the Southern States who 
had seen gunpowder made by the incorporating mill the only kind 
that can make it of the first quality ; he had been a workman at the 
Waltham Abbey Government Gunpowder Works, in England. He 
was made available in the operation of the Manchester Mill, and 
afterwards for a short time at the Augusta Confederate Works, and 
although sadly defective in a certain way, I was much indebted to 
his knowledge and experience. 

A singular good fortune happened at the commencement of my 
labors. I came into possession of an invaluable pamphlet by Major 
Bradley, the Superintendent of the Waltham Abbey Works ; in this 
the entire process and machinery employed at that Factory the 
best existing in any country was succinctly stated ; drawings, or 
working plans, or details of the buildings, or apparatus, however, 
were not given. 

Nowhere could be found a publication in which this was done of 
any powder factory, hence in the projection of the Confederate 
Powder Works, I was thrown upon my own resources to supply 
these deficiences. 



During the many hours spent in railroad cars, these matters were 
thought over and planned separately as necessity required. A rough 
sketch was made, dimensions given, and location designated ; this 
data was placed in the hands of capable men to carry out. In my 
young Architect and Civil Engineer, C. Shaler Smith, recommened- 
ed by the proprietors of the Richmond Tredegar Iron Works, I at 
once recognised genius of a high order, and placed in his hands my 
rough sketches of buildings to elaborate and give architectural finish. 
All know with what result, the fine taste exhibited in the massive 
and beautiful structures which ornamented the banks of the Augusta 
Canal, for two miles, bore witness of his success. 

Good fortune also brought to my notice, by a casual encounter 
with General Pendelton, Chief of Artillery at Richmond, a skilled 
machinist, who had served his time at the Tredegar Works, and 
was then a Sergeant in the Confederate army. He, William Peri- 
dleton, was applied for, and in his acquisition, was gained a man of 
capability and integrity, into whose hands could be confidently 
placed the erection of all the extensive machinery then in process of 
construction. The responsible duties of Superintendent of the 
W T orks were also committed to his charge. 

The Tredegar Iron and Machine Works, at Richmond, were the 
only ones throughout the South, having adequate capabilities for the 
construction of the heavy and extensive machinery required in the 
projected Confederate Powder Works. They were only partially 
available for the purpose, however, as the demands made upon them 
for heavy artillery, and for all kinds of urgent work required by the 
Government, absorbed their resources, nevertheless, I was compelled 
to call upon them for most of the twelve circular iron beds, and 
twenty-four ponderous five ton iron rollers, w r ith other work requir 
ed for the incorporating Mills, which, together, weighed 240 tons ; 
two of the rollers were made in Macon and two in Chattanooga. 

The immense iron shaft, nearly three hundred feet long, varying 
from twelve inches in diameter at the central portions, to ten inches 
and eight inches, toward the extremities, was cast and completed in 
sections, mainly, at the Webster Foundry and Machine Works at 
the latter city ; here, also, were made the twelve heavy spur wheels, 
and twelve powerful friction arrangements to start and stop gradual 
ly each set of rollers separately, as the main shaft, working in the 



extensive subterranean archway, which extended below the line of 
mills, continued its incessant revolutions. 

The great gear-wheel, sixteen feet in diameter, attached to the 
centre of this shaft, giving it motion, with its corresponding massive 
pinion on the engine shaft, were cast and accurately finished at At 
lanta. 

The fine steam engine of i3O-horse power, having two cylinders 
and a fly wheel of fourteen tons weight, and five boilers was made 
at the Xorth just before the war, and brought to that city to be used 
in a flouring mill. This was purchased as being exactly the motive 
power required. 

It was designed to make use of the water power of the canal for 
all purposes, but its available capacities at that time would not per 
mit this, for the large amount required by the incorporating mills ; 
it was employed at the other and more dangerous buildings, which 
required a smaller amount of power. Two smaller steam engines 
one procured at Macon and the other at Selma were employed in 
the Refining building. Two Hydraulic Presses were procured at 
Richmond ; the twelve iron evaporating pans, each holding five hun 
dred gallons, were cast at the large Iron Works on the Cumberland 
River, in Tennessee. The extensive copper drying pans for the pow 
dered saltpetre, being together forty feet long by nine feet broad, 
were made at Nashville ; the four cast iron Retorts, four feet long 
by three feet in diameter, with eight cast iron coolers, and twelve 
sheet iron slip cylinders of nearly the same dimensions, were made 
at the Augusta Confederate Foundry and Machine Works, where al 
so all the smaller machinery required \vas constructed. Copper boil 
ers were procured from Wilmington, N. C, being made of large tur 
pentine stills ; pumps, pipe and cement from Charleston ; sheet cop 
per from Savannah and Nashville ; tin and zinc for roofing from 
Mobile; the larger steam pipes from Right s Foundry, in Augusta, 
and the smaller from New Orleans ; iron and coal for castings 
were had from North Georgia and Alabama, and copper from Duck- 
town, in Tennessee. 

Thus material was gathered from all the Southern States to unite 
with the resources of the City of Augusta, to construct the largest 
and finest Gunpowder Factory to be found in any country. 

On the 2oth of July, 1861, I examined the Augusta Canal and re 
sources of the citv, and later selected the location of the Powder 



10 

Works, beginning at the site of the United States old Magazine, 
half a mile from the western city limit. Land adjacent was purchas 
ed, and also that between the canal and the river for a distance 
of two miles, so that the different buildings required, might be 
seperated by intervals of at least one thousand feet for safety in case 
any one of them should have an explosion. 

It was remarkable that the most favorable conditions required in 
the erection of an extensive Powder manufactory, were all met at 
this location, and nowhere eise attainable. These are : 

1. A central point of the country, for obvious reasons. 

2. On a main line of railroad communication, to distribute the 
products to all parts of the country. 

3. On a canal or river, which could afford a safe and economical 
means of transportation of the pulverized materials in process of 
manufacture, at the same time affording the necessary water-power 
to the different buildings. 

4. In the neighborhood of a town or city, from which mechanics 
and employes, as well as necessary articles, could be obtained. 

5. A location near which the best building materials could be 
procured for permanent structures. 

6. A temperate climate, where operations could be continued 
throughout the year without obstructions from ice, and to avoid the 
hazard and expense of warming the building. 

7. A district of country free from lime and earthy salts, so that 
the large amount of water required in the operations of the Saltpetre 
Refinery should be as nearly pure as possible. 

8. A location which would insure an abundant and cheap supply 
of the proper kind of wood required in the making of gunpowder. 

9. A situation which, whilst sufficiently near a town to procure 
readily supplies and workmen, should, at the same time, be removed 
so far off that the dangerous structures, should an explosion occur, 
would cause no damage to the nearest inhabitant. 

10. Hence, also, the canal or stream on which the works exist, 
should have but little traffic or commerce, and, in the vicinity of the 
works, should pass through a sparsley inhabited district. 

The Augusta Canal, having been selected for the site of the Con 
federate Powder Works, contracts were immediately entered into 
for the brick, stone and carpenter s work, on very favorable terms. 

At the beginning of the war, business was more or less paralyzed, 



11 

so that the manufacturers and builders were, to a considerable ex 
tent, thrown out of employment, which enabled contracts to be made 
advantageously at the usual prices. Thus, the total cost of the en 
tire works did not exceed three hundred and eighty-five thousand 
dollars. 

The erection of these works on the ground of economy alone, was 
of great service to the Confederate Government. The extreme haz 
ard of importing gunpowder through the blockade, raised its aver 
age price, the first year of the war, to three dollars per pound. There 
were made one million pounds at the works in that period, at a total 
cost, including the materials, of one million and eighty thousand 
dollars ; thus saving to the Government in one year, one million, 
nine hundred and twenty thousand dollars. 

The requisite land having been purchased, and contracts made 
for building materials, the site of the main buildings were located by 
myself, and construction commenced on the I3th of September, 1861, 
under the immediate supervision of Mr. - - Grant, a young civil 
engineer from Savannah. These buildings were erected of the ex 
cellent bricks supplied by the Augusta and Hamburg yards, which 
were worked to their full capacity, and above five millions were sup 
plied. The handsome granite of Stone Mountain, on the Georgia 
Railroad, was employed for the sills, lintels, copings, and foundation 
stones. The whole of the buildings were erected by Messrs. Den 
ning and Bowe, of Augusta, the former having immediate charge, 
and could not be surpassed for excellence of workmanship. 

The first structure or the one nearest the city was called the 
Refinery building, because the central portion was used for such 
purposes, but it included a saltpetre and sulphur warehouse, of a 
capacity of fifteen hundred tons, on the east end, and a charcoal de 
partment and machine shop with a steam engine on the west end. 
Rifle and ballistic pendulums on the northeast, and the steam boiler 
house on the northwest portions. There were four square towers 
at the corners, used as offices ; the entire structure forming three 
sides of a square, fronting two hundred and fifty feet along the 
canal, and extending back two hundred and seventy-five feet. The 
north side was mostly a brick enclosure with high walls, but having 
no roof, and temporarily used for storing wood its ultimate desti 
nation was for worshops. 

Within the square were located the kilns for drying the wood to 



12 

be distilled in the charcoal retorts ; the copper boilers and other ap 
paratus for the extraction of the saltpetre from damaged powder ; 
as also the arrangement for the final extraction of the saltpetre from 
the refuse of the Refinery; lastly, the great chimney, into which all 
the smoke flues of the entire structure terminated. 

In the projection of this part of the Powder Works, I conceived 
the design of making the central portion present the appearance of 
a grand monumental structure. For this purpose the chimney was 
placed centrally, and its exterior dimensions considerably enlarged ; 
in fact, it is composed of two distinct parts, the chimney and out 
side obelisk ; the former being enclosed at its base by a square tower, 
nineteen by thirty-five feet in height, whose battlements arose to 
view above the front walls. From the top of this tower the envelop 
ing obelisk commenced, and ascended one hundred and fifteen feet, 
making the complete structure one hundred and fifty feet from the 
ground to the coping. The interior chimney flue is five feet square 
from bottom to top. The corner stone, or rather the box, containing 
the usual documents, was, by a fancy of the architect, placed in one 
of the corners of the top coping of the obelisk. 

The saltpetre refinery occupied the right central portion of the 
front, being sixty-five feet long, fifty-five feet broad and thirty feet 
high, open from the floor to the ventilated roof. At the east end 
were four of the large evaporating iron pans, placed side by side, 
and elevated three feet above the floor by the brick work which sur 
rounded them ; five similar pans were in a corresponding position at 
the west end, and the large copper drying pans occupied forty feet 
along the north side at the same height. Each evaporating pan had 
a separate furnace, and the heated air from the whole passed be 
neath, and in contact with the bottoms of the drying pans on its wav 
to the great chimney ; the furnaces opened into side rooms com 
municating with the outside open space in the rear of the building. 
Thus the refining room was entirely free from ashes, dust and 
smoke. 

The centre space of the floor, about thirty-six feet square, was 
sunk four feet to allow water from the canal to pass around the bot 
toms of two of the large evaporating pans, which were placed there 
in near the centre of this area, and nine feet apart ; these were used 
for a special purpose. 

The best quality of gunpowder can only be made from the purest 



13 

saltpetre; the impurities of the crude material are mainly deliques 
cent salts, which rapidly deteriorate the strength of the powder by 
the moisture absorbed. To refine more or less the rough saltpetre 
of commerce is then a necessity even in producing an inferior arti 
cle. 

To carry the refining process to the extent of nearly absolute 
purity, required several successive crystallizations and washings, 
involving a large amount of manual labor in the manipulation, and 
consuming much time. This was particularly the case in the very 
large amount of saltpetre, eight to ten thousand pounds per day, 
used by the Works, the refining of which would demand extended 
buildings and apparatus, as well as requiring a large number of 
operatives. Hence, it became desirable to devise methods by which 
hand labor could be superseded by motive power and machinery ; in 
this I was entirely successful. Thus, in the operations of filling the 
various boiling pans with water or mother-liquor; the transference 
of the boiling solution of saltpetre to the draining trough, and thence 
to the crystallizing machines ; the cooling down of the solutions, and 
their constant agitation to break up the forming crystals into fine 
particles, and transferring of these to an adjoining tank ; the wash 
ing of the crystallized mass, and the subsequent removal of the 
mother-liquor and wash- waters, were all accomplished by machin 
ery, with the assistance of two or three workmen only. 

The saving of time and labor was thus manifest, and the rapidity 
with which these operations were performed, permitted a double 
and triple process in a single day ; thus allowing a degree of purity 
in the product of refined saltpetre not attained in any other re 
finery. Its purity was such generally, that there was not the one- 
hundred-thousandth part of chlorides left in the salt. 

Of the machinery used, the most important was a bronze revolv 
ing wheel with buckets attached to the periphery, which worked into 
an iron pan or kettle, whose section was an arc of a circle ; the buck 
ets grazed the surface of the bottom and sides of this kettle, the 
bottom of the latter being immersed in a current of cold water. The 
hot filtered solution of the crude saltpetre was received into this ket 
tle, and thus kept into a state of rapid agitation, the effect being to 
produce a wet mass of minute crystals, which, as fast as formed, were 
taken up by the sharp edged buckets, and lifted sufficiently high to 
pour into a receiving vat ; this permitted the liquid part to flow back 



14 

into the kettle. By this means in a short time the entire mass of fine 
deposited crystals from the rapidly cooled liquid, were removed to 
the vat. When the operation was completed the remaining liquid 
in the kettle was by the revolutions of the bronze wheel, discharged 
into one of the eight capacious cisterns below the floor; there were 
two of these machines employed. 

The facility for work which this apparatus, with the other me 
chanical appliances afforded, enabled the refinery to carry the puri 
fication of the saltpetre beyond that of the most celebrated powder 
factories. 

Adjoining this part of the Works was the Sulphur Refinery, 
where this material was prepared from the crude stock, and made 
ready for the incorporating process. About one hundred and thirty 
tons of very impure sulphur had been received from Louisana, for 
the use of the Powder Works ; it had been purchased before the war 
by the planters for use in the making of sugar, and was bought up 
by the Confederate officers. The best quality of gunpowder has its 
sulphur chemically pure, which could be demonstrated by showing 
no trace of acid when powdered and boiled in water, and should 
entirely evaporate on a piece of glass when heated, leaving no stain. 
This can only be accomplished practically by distillation. The crude 
article was melted and poured into upright, thick wooden boxes 
five feet high and ten inches square at the bottom, tapering upwards ; 
when cold the earthy matters would be found in the lower portion 
by subsidence, leaving about three feet apparently pure. This was 
broken off and placed into two kettles of suitable form and dimen 
sions, having furnaces ; the tops of these kettles were connected by 
a bent iron pipe to an enlarged portion, which was surrounded with 
water. On the application of heat the sulphur vaporized, and 
passing over through the pipe was condensed in the cooled portion, 
whence it trickled in a thick stream into a; receiving vessel below ; 
the first portions being rejected, the remainder was of a beautiful 
citron yellow when cold, and entirely pure. 

Unlike the refined saltpetre, the purified sulphur had to be pul 
verized and bolted like flour before being used. The former was 
done by two iron wheels of twelve inches face and five feet diameter, 
weighing six hundred pounds each, revolving on a bed circle of iron 
like the incorporating rollers ; the later was accomplished by bolters, 
but when these were worn out and could not be replaced, for want 



15 

of the silk cloth, which was not to be found in the South, necessity 
compelled me to devise a different, and as it proved, a superior 
method. 

The pulverized sulphur was placed in barrels or cylinders, with 
hollow axles, which were made to revolve slowly by machinery ; 
there were ledges on the interior which caused the sulphur to be lift 
ed and poured over as the cylinders revolved ; a light current of air 
was blown through each, entering the hollow axle at one end, and 
passing out through the axle at the other end, which led into an ad 
joining room; there the impalpable sulphur dust was deposited, 
much finer than by the usual bolting process. 

Adjoining this Refinery was the department in which charcoal 
was made and pulverized. Charcoal for gunpowder has to be made 
of a porous fine-grained wood, having very little ashes when burned ; 
willow is generally preferred, and was used at first in the Powder 
Works, but the exigencies of the war taking away those who would 
ordinarily have supplied it, rendered it impracticable to procure a 
sufficient quantity. Recourse was had to the cotton wood, which 
was abundant ; on trial its charcoal was found fully equal to that of 
the willow for the purpose, and was, thereafter always used. 

Charcoal for gunpowder must be made by what is termed the 
distilling process ; that is, the wood must be heated in iron retorts 
to the proper degree, to have it of the best quality and free from 
sand or grit. For this purpose cast iron cylinders, or retorts, six feet 
long and four feet in diameter were used, placed over furnaces, 
each having one end solid and the other with a movable cover ; into 
these were run the slip cylinders, which contained the kiln dried 
cotton wood, split up into sticks about one and a half inches in 
diameter, and entirely filling it. 

The slip cylinders were charged with the wood in an outside 
apartment, their covers put on, then readily moved by cranes to the 
retorts, into which they were pushed ; the covers of which were 
then luted with clay and closely applied. The bottoms of the retorts 
being perforated, permitted the escape of the vapors and gases into 
the furnaces beneath, where inflaming, they supplied mainly the heat 
required in the operation. In about two hours the slip cylinders 
were withdrawn from the retorts and moved by the cranes over, and 
lowered into the cast iron coolers beneath the floor ; these had water 
from the canal circulating around them ; the covers being then put 



16 

on to exclude the air, the mass of charcoal was rapidly cooled. As 
soon as a slip cylinder was removed from a retort a freshly charged 
one would take its place, and thus the process was continued. The 
slip cylinders were taken out of the coolers in succession by the 
cranes, and swung over a long and broad table upon which their 
contents were dropped; here the sticks of charcoal were separately 
examined and the imperfect rejected. The charcoal was then placed 
in pulverizing barrels with bronze balls, which revolving by ma 
chinery, soon reduced it more or less to a fine powder ; it was then 
bolted, and with the sulphur and saltpetre taken to the weighing 
house. Here the three materials were arranged into sixty pounds 
charges, by mingling forty-five pounds of saltpetre, nine pounds of 
charcoal and six pounds of sulphur, which was then moistened and 
ready for incorporation. 

Reflecting over the processes for making gunpowder, it suggested 
itself that the chemical reactions would necessarily have the most 
favorable conditions, when there should be the most intimate ap 
proximation of the component molecules. That, as the charcoal by 
its combustion with the oxygen of the saltpetre, supplied the expand 
ed gases which produced the explosive force, it was of the first con 
sideration that there should be the most perfect mixture practicable 
between these two ingredients. Under the microscope a fine particle 
of charcoal was seen to be a mass of carbon penetrated by numerous 
pores, hence it became necessary to completely fill these minute pores 
with the saltpetre to have the best condition. This might be accom 
plished by the usual processes, as the charge is kept moistened when 
stamped or rolled, but as it will not answer to have the mass ivct 
during the incorporating operation, only moist or damp, the com 
pletion of the process was necessarily delayed. If this mass of ma 
terial could be made into a semi-liquid condition by the action of 
steam, the hot solution of saltpetre would speedily penetrate the 
minute pores of the charcoal, and thus the desired end would be 
rapidly attained. 

Accordingly, the following process was devised : The moistened 
sixty pounds charges, roughly mixed and moistened with water, 
were introduced into horizontal cylinders of sheet copper thirty 
inches long by eighteen inches in diameter. These cylinders re 
volved slowly on a common axis, consisting of a heavy brass tube 
three inches in diameter, perforated with holes. High pressure 



17 

steam was introduced through the tube raising the temperature to 
the boiling point while the water produced by condensation, added 
to that originally used to moisten the materials, reduced them to a 
semi-liquid slush, which was run out of the cylinders after about 
eight minutes rotation. On cooling, this mud became a damp solid 
cake, the saltpetre which in the state of boiling hot saturated solution 
had entered the minutest pores of the charcoal, now crystalizing. 
The cake as produced was transferred to the incorporating mills, 
and under the five ton rollers was in an hour brought to the condi 
tion of finished mill cake, ready to be cooled and granulated, while 
without the steaming process, four hours incorporation in the mills 
had previously been necessary to produce powder of the same first- 
class character. The capacity of the work of the mills was thus 
practically quadrupled, the thorough saturation of the charcoal with 
saltpetre being accomplished by the steaming, while it remained for 
the rollers merely to complete the incorporation of the whole mass 
and give the required density to the mill cake. 

The Incorporating Mills, twelve in number, extended along the 
canal beyond the Refinery building and further back from its bank, 
having the Laboratory between the two; they were two hundred 
and ninety-six feet long. This seperation was for safety, as they 
worked explosive material. The walls were massive, being four to 
ten feet thick, the horizontal section of each being that of a huge 
mortar of seventeen feet wide by twenty-four feet long; the height 
of the walls was twenty-eight feet; they faced alternately in op 
posite directions, so that an explosion of one would not be com 
municated to those adjoining. 

The fronts were constructed of light wood and glass, and the 
roofs of sheet zinc, so that but slight resistance would be offer 
ed, upwards and outwards, to the explosive force. A wing wall, 
nearly as high as the main walls, and three feet thick, extended out 
wards from the centre of the exterior back wall of each mill twenty 
feet, to guard still further against the effects of an explosion. Be 
hind these the powder-makers stood, for safety, while starting or 
stopping the motion of the ponderous rollers. This was done by 
means of a long lever, which threw in or out of gear the friction 
arrangement, which worked each set beneath the floor, in the thick 
archway which extended from end to end beneath the mills. It has 
already been stated that this archway contained the great iron shaft 



18 

which imparted motion to all the mills, and which derived its own 
from the large steam engine, which was located above, in the centre 
apartments seperating the mills into two divisions. 

In adddition to the above precautions to prevent the explosion 
of a mill from extending to the others, above each set of rollers was 
balanced a vessel containing about thirty gallons of water. This 
was connected by means of a small iron shaft with a similar vessel 
to each mill of the division. Thus, on an explosion in one mill, its 
bed-plate was instantly drenched with water, and this caused the 
same to take place at the same moment with all the others. 

These precautions were rendered the more necessary by the care 
lessness of the powder-makers, who might not remove the broke up 
powder cake from the mill enclosure before placing a new charge 
under the rollers, thus having one hundred and twenty pounds of 
material to take fire at the same time as once happened producing 
a powerful explosion. There occurred only three explosions at these 
mills all before the steaming process was adopted and in the first 
only was any one injured. In that one no material harm was done, 
as the two powder-makers exposed by their own carelessness 
were at work again in a few days. This explosion completely des 
troyed the slight roof, as well as the wood and glass front, but did 
scarcely any other damage to the mill, and had no action on the other 
mills further than drenching their beds with water. The other two 
explosions were insignificant. 

These incorporating mills consisted, each, of an iron circular -flat 
bed of seven feet diameter, fixed in a mass of masonry built up above 
the brick archway, through the center of the floor, to a convenient 
height. On this bed two massive iron rollers, six feet in diameter 
and fifteen inches face, revolved. Each weighed five tons. They 
had a common axle of wrought iron, of five inches diameter, and a 
vertical shaft of cast iron passing through the centre of the bed, 
having a rectangular cross-head through which the axle worked. 
This shaft connected below with the machinery which gave it mo 
tion from the main shaft. 

These rollers were not equi-distant from the centre of revolution, 
by which arrangement evry part of the charge of materials on the 
bed was subjected to their action which was crushing, grinding, 
mixing and compressing; grinding and mixing from the twisting 
motion which followed from so large a diameter revolving in so 



19 

small a circle, and crushing and compressing from the weight of the 
rollers. 

To keep the powder on the bed, a wooden curb, fnnnel-shapped, 
two feet, high was placed around the circumference, fitting closely, 
extending outwards at an angle of forty-five degrees. In the centre 
of the bed was a short cylinder of metal, two feet in cliamenter and 
six inches high, through the top of which the vertical shaft passed. 
This prevented the powder working inwards. It also acted as a 
steam-chamber to keep the bed-plate warm ; but this was not used 
for the purpose, since the steaming process rendered it unnecessary. 
A scraper, or plo.w, followed each roller, which continually broke up 
the powder-cake, mixed its fragments, and kept them in the path of 
the rollers. 

At the commencement of the operation the charge of sixty pounds 
of steamed materials was uniformly distributed over the bed; the 
rollers were then set into motion, revolving about ten times each 
minute, which continued for an hour ; the broken up powder, or mill 
cake, which was about five-eights of an inch thick, was then removed 
from the bed, having a blackish grey color and taken to the cooling 
magazines. These were excavated in the clay and rock on the other 
side of the canal, about one hundred yards distant; were four in 
number and separated from each other; here the mill cake became 
cold and hard, and was ready for the next operation, that of granula 
tion.. 

The permanent building in which this was done was about fifteen 
hundred feet distant from the Powder Mills, on the same side, fur 
ther up the canal ; this, as well as each of the other permanent 
structures, was made of brick, having thin walls and light roofs. 
Wood in the damp atmosphere of the canal speedily decayed. 

A natural growth of trees and brush-wood intervened between 
the buildings along the canal, which were generally situated about 
one thousand feet apart ; thus the explosion of any one of them 
would be harmless to the remainder. There was a temporary 
structure of wood used at first for granulation, about one hundred 
yards distant from the permanent building, on the opposite side of 
the canal ; this, after a use of some months, exploded with about 
three tons of gunpowder. 

The explosion was heavy, shaking the earth for some distance, 
and throwing up a convolving column of flame and white smoke 



20 

five hundred feet in height. It was composed of a series of con 
fused masses of smoke and heated air revolving in vertical planes 
with extraordinary velocity, through which the flames flashed out 
wards in all directions ; this was followed by the thundering sound 
of the explosion, which vibrated the air for a mile around, and was 
heard within the limits of the city. 

There were seven men within the structure, a sentinel outside, 
and a boy with a mule in a shed adjoining. The bodies of the seven 
men and the boy,with the debris, were carried up with the ascending 
column, and by its revolving action, reduced mainly to small frag 
ments and dispersed ; the sentinel was killed by the shock, but his 
body was not otherwise disturbed. A growth of small pines sur 
rounded the place, which effectually intercepted the lateral flying 
fragments ; in fact the force of the explosion did not extend outside 
a diameter of one hundred feet, but within that area the trees were 
destroyed and the space where the structure stood was ploughed up 
and nothing remained. At the time there was no work being done, 
as the workmen were aw r aiting the arrival of the boat with the mill 
cake. The careful foreman, Gibson, had been called away, and prob 
ably the accident happened from matches falling on the floor, as it 
had been found impossible to prevent their use by the workmen, for 
smoking, when off duty. This was the only explosion at the 
Works during the war, except the three at the Mills, already men 
tioned. It demonstrated the safety of the arrangements^ since their 
was no damage to any portion of the Works except the destruction 
of the glass sashes, and a slight movement of the roof of the per 
manent granulating building, about one hundred yards distant. 
This was about to be occupied, having been completed. 

In the granulating building the cold mill cake was broken up into 
fragments by bronze toothed cylinders of small diameter, and then 
by smooth ones ; these worked in pairs, and successively, in connec 
tion with vilratory screens and sieving, all in one machine. By the 
action of this arrangement the powder cake was broken into frag 
ments, separated into different sizes of grain, and each delivered into 
its proper receptacle. A very large grained powder, each grain be 
ing a cube of one inch in dimensions, and weighing about one ounce, 
was made by a seperate manipulation of the powder cake, and used 
for the very largest guns only. 

From the granulating building the powder was taken to the dry- 



21 

ing, dusting and glazing department, 2500 feet further up the canal. 
There was an intermediate building designed and used for several 
months, as the dusting and glazing department, the drying alone 
being done in the one above mentioned ; afterwards the three pro 
cesses were carried on together in one structure. It was soon per 
ceived that the drying process, which was done by similar arrange 
ments to those used at the government works at Waltham Abbey, 
England, that is, by placing the powder in small quantities in shal 
low trays in a frame work, over steam heated pipes, required con 
siderable manual labor and occupied much time. It occurred to me 
that the same could be accomplished more speedily and with far 
less, labor, by a single operation, which would likewise perform the 
glazing and dusting. 

To accomplish this the powder from the granulating house was 
placed in revolving cylinders having hollow axles, and a current of 
air warmed by passing through an arrangement of steam pipes was 
blown through, carrying the dust into its receptacle, leaving the 
grains clear. This also dried and glazed them at the same time. 
Thus by one operation, by machinery, all three processes were ac 
complished, resulting in a large saving of labor and time. In ad 
dition, a beautiful jet black glazing was given by admitting a small 
quantity of steam at the proper time to the current of air, while the 
barrels revolved. This was not generally done, however, as it was 
regarded of but slight, if any, practical value, the usual glazing 
answering all required purposes. 

Two hundred yards .from this department was the boiler house 
supplying the steam required for the pipes used in the drying pro 
cess. Its chimney was one hundred yards still further removed, 
communicating with the furnace by a subteranean arched flue ; thus 
sparks would have had to drift over three hundred yards to reach 
the clean metal roof of the drying building. 

The finished gunpowder was taken to the next building, one 
thousand five hundred feet beyond, up the canal, where it was 
weighed out and put into strong wood boxes about two and a half 
feet long, by one foot square, having the ends let into grooves ; one 
of the ends had a strong wood screw, two inches diameter, with an 
octagonal head. Experience proved that these powder boxes, a 
devise of my own from necessity, were superior to barrels, being 
stronger, occupying less room, standing transportation better, and 



22 

safer in use. No explosion ever occurred in their transportation, 
notwithstanding the occasional Railroad accidents, and the many 
thousands that were sent from the Powder Works during the war. 

The powder boxes being filled, were then transported to the 
magazine, three quarters of a mile still further up the canal. This 
wood structure was on a rising ground one hundred yards from the 
canal, enclosed by a high fence. Its capacity was about one hundred 
tons of gunpowder. 

At this, and every other separate building of the Powder Works, 
a sentinel was stationed day and night, and the utmost viglance 
used. Also, each of the seperate buildings along the canal, except 
the magazine, containing large amounts of gunpowder, were enclos 
ed with high brick walls, having a single entrance. 

At the Waltham Abbey Works, in England, the gunpowder cake 
after being crushed, is subjected to compression by the hydraulic 
press to give if sufficient density. I found that by using five ton rol 
lers; the proper compression could be given in the powder mills 
during the incorporation, thus saving much labor and time. The 
hydraulic press, consequently was only used to compress the powder 
dust into thin cakes, which were sent to the granulating department 
to be used for fine grain powder only. 

The press house was located between the Cooling Magazines and 
the granulating building on the same side of the canal as the for 
mer. It was a large brick structure provided with two hydraulic 
presses, cranes, and other appliances, with a turbine water wheel 
to supply the required motive power. After the discovery that the 
proper density could be better given to the powder cake, by using 
sufficiently heavy rollers during the incorporation, this department 
was used only for the purpose above stated. 

The interval of ninety feet between the Refinery building 1 and the 
Incorporating Mills, was mainly occupied by a fine building called 
the Laboratory. It had a projecting tower in the front centre, 
twenty-five feet square at the lower stories, which together were 
forty-five feet in elevation. From this the upper portion fifteen 
feet square ascended to the height of thirty feet, making seventy- 
five feet in all. The upper part of this constituted the clock tower 
with its four large circular openings for dials. These could be seen 
for a long distance. 

This building which was very striking in its appearance, was 



23 

never completed in its interior, as the different work to be here per 
formed was being done at the Arsenal sufficiently well, in tem 
porary structures. Awaiting the completion of the clock, the time 
was struck by hand, every half hour on the large bell suspended 
temporarily, in the open building in rear of the Refinery. 

The continual testing of the powder, as it was being manufactur 
ed to insure its equality in strength, and to ascertain its exact pro 
pelling force, was done for the fine graded powders, by excellent 
musket and ballistic pendulems constructed at the Confederate Ma 
chine Works in Augusta under my direction. For the cannon or 
large grain powders, by the initial velocities given to the proper pro 
jectiles in an eight inch Columbiad. To determine these velocities 
an accurately made electro-ballistic machine, such as was employed 
at the West Point Military Academy, was constructed at the same 
works. Also Rodman s apparatus for determining the absolute 
pressure on each square inch of the bore of the gun, exerted by the 
charge. In addition to these instruments, complete arrangements 
for determining the gravimetric densities and hygrometric pro 
perties of different samples of gunpowder were made. 

The foregoing appliances enabled accurate comparisons to be 
made at all points between different gunpowders, and to determine 
the various matters required in the manufacture of the first quality 
for the various arms of service. That this was successfully done 
was certified to by Boards of Artillery and Infantry Officers ; after 
the war the captured powder of these works was used in the School 
of Artillery practice at Fort Monroe, on account of its superiority, 
then in active operation, and in his recent valuable book, speaks in 

Mr. Davis, whilst President of the Confederacy, visited the works, 
more than one place in flattering terms of their products. Articles 
published in the London Times were highly commendatory of the 
Works and their results, which were copied in Continental papers. 
They were visited by many distinguished civil and military gentle 
men, both native and foreign. 

The great extent of the Powder Works and their immense 
capabilities, were the admiration of all visitors. This was mainly 
due to the foresight of the President of the Confederacy, who, com 
prehending the requirements of a great war, then scarcely com 
menced, strongly drew my attention to the probable necessity of very 
large supplies of gunpowder to meet the service of artillery of great 



24 

calibre, which would probably be employed, as well as the largely 
increased quantities necessary to meet the rapid firing of the improv 
ed small arms, with which infantry and calvary were now supplied. 

The daily product of the Works varied with the demand for gun 
powder, and with the amount of saltpetre on hand. At no time after 
their completion were they worked to their full capacity ; indeed, 
were only worked during daylight. Even when supplying the ur 
gent call of General Ripley at Charleston for cannon powder, to re 
place the twenty-two thousand pounds consumed during the action 
with the iron-clad fleet ; two days work nearly supplied that 
amount. 

Notwithstanding the admirable serving of the heavy artillery at 
Fort Sumter during that engagement, it would have fallen and 
Charleston captured, had any but the strongest gunpowder been 
used. The armor of the iron-clads, though constructed expressly 
to withstand the heaviest charges and projectiles, gave way before 
its propelling force. Mr. Davis makes the statement that the en 
gagement between the Alabama and Kearsarge would have resulted 
in a victory for the former, had Admiral Semmes been supplied 
with the powder from these works. Any failure in their construc 
tion and products would have rested with myself. A carte blanche 
had been given, and there was no one to share the appalling re 
sponsibility. 

There were made at the Confederate Powder Works at Augusta, 
commencing April 10, 1862, and terminating April 18, 1865, 2, 750,- 
ooo pounds, or one thousand, three hundred and seventy-five tons 
of gunpowder. This was distributed throughout the Confederacy, 
mostly east of the Mississippi river. There remained on hand, at the 
Magazine, at the end of operations, about seventy thousand pounds, 
besides considerable amounts of saltpetre and other material. 

The Navy Department during the war established a manufactory 
of gunpowder at Petersburg, Virginia, which was afterwards re 
moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and then to Columbia, South 
Carolina. A powder mill was put into operation at Richmond, 
Virginia, also, at Raleigh, North Carolina, but the extent of their 
operations is unknown. Two small stamping mills in the northwest 
ern portion of South Carolina, near the mountains, which were 
erected to make blasting powder for the neighboring tunnel were 



25 

visited, but I found that they could be made available only to a very 
limited extent. 

The Confederate Powder Works were so constructed that the 
rough materials were received at the building nearest the city ; 
thence successively passed up the canal from building to building 
in the progressive stages of manufacture, until it arrived finished 
and ready for shipping at the Magazine. 

To facilitate the transportation, a short branch of railroad was con 
structed connecting the canal basin with the Georgia Railroad. The 
safe, economical, and ready means of transportation by the canal 
were invaluable ; no accident ever happened, notwithstanding the im 
mense amount of combustible material over two thousand five 
hundred tons which had passed to and fro over it during the three 
years of operations. From the canal bank to the entrance of each 
building, the walks were covered with compressed sawdust, and rub 
ber shoes were worn by all operatives in the departments containing 
gunpowder. 

It is an interesting fact that Augusta was the only city of note 
in the South, which was not occupied at some time by the Federal 
forces during the war; here the flag of the Confederacy floated un 
disturbed to the end. 

The extensive Sibley Cotton Factory has been erected on a por 
tion of the site of the Refinery, Laboratory and Incorporating Mills, 
and so arranged that the Confederate obelisk stands conspicuously 
in front of the centre ; the battlemented and ornamental architecture 
of the Powder Works was adopted in the construction of the Factory 
buildings, which give them a fine and noble appearance. 

Here was once heard the noise of the clanking wheels and muffled 
sounds of the ponderous rollers of war, as they slowly concentrated 
into black masses the enormous energies which were to shake the 
earth and air, with the roar and deafening explosions of the bat 
tle fiell Now the air is again filled with the sounds of moving 
machinery, but it is the busy hum of peaceful occupations which 
assist to clothe the world from the \vhite cotton fields of Georgia. 
The black material of war has given away to the white staple of 
peace. 

Of the extensive Confederate Powder Works nothing remains 



26 

except the obelisk enclosing the great Chimney. Its battlemented 
tower and lofty shaft, large proportions and beautiful workmanship, 
will bear evidence of the magnitude and style of their construction 
to future generations. 




APPENDIX. 



To the special duties of the manufacture of gunpowder were 
added the command of the Augusta Arsenal, on the /th April, 1862, 
and at a later period that of the Military District of Augusta. In the 
early part of February, 1863, in connection with Captain Fairfax, 
of the Confederate Navy, the duties of getting into effective opera 
tion the extensive and unfinished Foundry Works constructed at 
Selma, Alabama, under contract with the War and Navy Depart 
ments, were superadded. When the communication with Richmond 
was endangered, in the latter part of the war, all the Arsenals south 
of Virginia, were committed to my charge. 

It had been the design at an early period, of the Chief of Ordi 
nance, to convert the Arsenal at Augusta into one of construction, 
and Capt. Gill was placed in charge with that object in view. On 
taking command, I found there were no existing facilities for 
large constructive works ; thus the intention had to be for the time, 
abandoned, but it was found available, by the erection of several 
wood structures, for lighter work, such as the preparation of car 
tridges, fixed ammunition, signal rockets, fuses, primers, grenades, 
nitric acid, fulminates and percussion caps, etc. 

It was necessary for works of construction to make available the 
water power of the canal within the city ; accordingly, a Machine 
and Foundry establishment, then lying idle, was purchased. Air 
and cupola furnaces, etc., were added to the Foundry, and lathes, 
planers, drills, ets., were purchased from Holly Springs, Mississippi, 
and Columbus, Georgia, and from Selma, Alabama, and other places, 
and added to those already present in the Machine Works. Also an 
extensive and complete gun-carriage department was erected, and 
a powder-box manufactory established, together with several houses 
for the preparation of small arm catridges, and other purposes. 
These structures were rapidly erected, and machinists, founders, 
blacksmiths, tinners, harness makers, armorers, etc., and the various 
material required, were gathered from all available sources. The 
large brick building erected by Captain "Gill at the Arsenal was con 
verted into a harness and equipment department for field artillery ; 
also used for tin and blacksmith shops, hospital and warehouse. 

I was fortunate in obtaining skilled men for the heads of the 
several departments ; among these were, at the Arsenal, Professor 
W ilson, Chemist ; Master Armorer Oliver and F. Smyth ; the last 
had charge of the Tinners department, and also was Captain of the 
Operatives Military company. 



28 

At the City Works were Foundry Superintendent Van Buren, of 
Clarksville; Superintendent Markey, of the Gun Carriage Depart 
ment; Superintendent Walker, of the Machine Works. Mr. Wy- 
man had charge of the Harness and Saddle and Equipment Depart 
ment, but the artillery harness was mostly manufactured in the city, 
very satisfactorily, by Messrs. Jessup, Hatch and Day. There were 
several valuable foremen in the different shops, among them were 
Jaillet, Sharky, Shehan, Barr, and others, whose names are not re 
called. 

I was also materially assisted by Military Store-Keeper Girardey 
and several young officers Captain Finney, and Lieutenants Wal 
ler, Collier, Sparrow, Hallam, and Cadet Lewis, and towards the 
close of operations by Captain Warren. 

At the several works under my charge at Augusta, a large amount 
of war material was manufactured, in 1863, 1864 and part of 1865. 
The record of the last year has been lost. Among the various 
articles of the two above years were the following, copied from my 
official reports to the Chief of Ordinance : 

no Field Guns, mostly bronze, 12-pounder Napoleons. These 
guns were cast, turned, bored and finished complete at all points. 
Four of them now ornament the principal entrance to Washington s 
Headquarters, at Newburgh, New York. 

174 Gun Carriages. 

115 Caissons. 

343 Limbers to Field Artillery. 

21 Battery Wagons. 

31 Traveling Forges. 

10,535 Powder Boxes. 

n,8n boxes for Small Arm Ammunition. 

73,521 Horse Shoes. 

12,630 Nitric Acid, pounds of. 

2,227 ounces of Fulminate of Mercury. 

2,455 Saddles, complete. 

2,535 Artillery Harness, single sets of. 

2,477 Signal Rockets. 

85,800 rounds of Fixed Ammunition. 

136,642 Artillery Cartridge Bags. 

200,113 Time Fuses. 

476,207 pounds of Artillery Projectiles. 

4,580,000 Buckshot. 

4,626,000 Lead Balls. 

1,000,000 Percussion Caps. 

10,760,000 Cartridges for Small Arms. 

Together with an immense amount of Infantry, Artillery and 
Calvary equipments. 

One hundred of the 12-pounder Napoleon guns were formed in- 



29 

to complete Batteries, and sent to the Army of Tenessee and North 
Georgia ; the metal being received from Ducktown, Tennessee, and 
other places wherever it could be procured, including Church and 
other bells, and captured 6-pounder bronze cannon. The improved 
Hand-Grenades with General G. J. Raines sensitive tubes were 
here manufactured, and many thousand sent to the Confederate 
armies. 

The Army of Tennessee, before the fall of Atlanta, being at one 
period about to run short of small arm ammunition, and finding 
it impracticable to procure sufficient additional labor in time, a call 
was made on the ladies of Summerville and Augusta, to assist in 
making cartridges. This call was answered with all the promptness 
which their devotion to the cause inspired, and by their invaluable 
aid the danger was tided over by the production of 75,000 cartridges 
per day. 





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